My Frenemy, the Crock Pot

The Husband and I have been married for 28 years. That’s eight cars, two houses, three kids, eight jobs.

And 10 Crock Pots.

On the menu this morning...overnight steel cut oatmeal with apples. No explosives added.

On the menu this morning…overnight steel cut oatmeal with apples. No explosives added.

I love my slow cooker. Actually, I currently have two of them, and there are occasions when I use both at the same time. With five crazy schedules to deal with during the high school years, a Crock Pot meal hastily thrown together in the morning saved us from eating expensive and unhealthy fast food several nights every week. I felt a lot better sending the kids off to their various activities after a nutritious meal to keep them going. Crock Pot cooking is still a staple of my weekly supper menu plan, as well as the occasional breakfast.

My Crock Pots and I have had a rocky history, though. There was the time I took a full pot of soup to a potluck, setting it on the floor of the back seat of the car. One quick stop to avoid a wreck and a tidal wave of soup covered the floor. I arrived at the potluck empty-handed but gloppy-footed.

Then there are all the lids I’ve broken. I’m not a fan of washing dishes, and I generally don’t give the task my full attention. So I’ve broken lids five times. I’ve done the research, and it’s cheaper to buy a new Crock Pot than to replace the lid. I’ve had pretty much every model on the market at one point or another.

My most spectacular Crock Pot disaster came early on in my domestic years. One day before I left for school I put some pork chops and barbecue sauce in, set it to low, and headed out the door knowing supper would be easy that evening.

Instead, we had what has come to be known in family lore as the A-pork-alypse.

I returned home late in the afternoon and was greeted in the kitchen by hunks and shards of glass all over the floor. The sides of the Crock Pot were covered with globs of pork chop and sauce. Most spectacularly, there was a splatter pattern of barbecue sauce on the ceiling.

While we’d been gone all day, pressure had somehow built up under the lid, leading to what must have been the explosion to end all explosions. And no one was there to see it. Such a disappointment – though it probably could have been deadly.

The happy ending was that I called the Rival company and described the scene. They promptly sent me a free replacement lid (the pot itself was still fine, once we sand-blasted the sauce and pork bits off) as well as a check to cover the chops. Customer service win!

With cool weather coming on, my Crock Pots will be getting their annual workout. Soups, stews, roasts, casseroles, all wonderfully cozy and comforting. There’s nothing better on a cold day than coming home to a hot, already-prepared meal.  As long as the ingredients stay inside the pot…


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